Visited and named by the English explorer William Dampier in 1700, New Britain became part of German New Guinea in 1884. Germany called it Neu Pommern (New Pomerania). In 1920 it was mandated to Australia by the League of Nations and in 1947 was made a UN trust territory under Australian control. In 1937 and again in 1994 Rabaul was severely damaged by volcanic activity.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pacific Islands Political Geography